Jul 022013

jewel bush

Last week, Facebook blocked my account for 12 hours because it alleged that a picture I posted violated its terms of use.  The image in question was a black-and-white still from the early 20th century of a man hung from a lamp post with a sign affixed to his chest that read: “This Nigger Voted.”

Yes, this is graphic, uncomfortable and hard to view, but given last week’s news — the highest court in the land striking down key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — the context made sense. It wasn’t gratuitous Rambo-esque or Tarantino bloody and gory for brutality’s sake. I shared this historic image of a lynched black person to spark a discussion and to remind the pop culture community that while folks waste brain cells deciphering the lyrics of Kanye West’s new album or who is Twitter beefing with whom, our rights are being stripped away in brazen swoops. Continue reading »

Jul 022013

Owen Courreges

Like Mardi Gras beads on a St. Charles crape myrtle, the debate over what to do with the New Orleans World Trade Center has lingered.  The problem is that the World Trade Center, built in 1967, is widely regarded as a landmark.  Nevertheless, its future is in peril.  The city seems determined to see it scrapped.  Others are raising their voices to have it preserved. Continue reading »

Jun 292013

Trent Mackey

Trent Mackey — who is awaiting trial on an armed robbery charge related to a home-invasion case on Broadway Street last summer — is suing the New Orleans Police Department over a second arrest, in which he was charged with burglary of a house in the same block of Broadway, according to a report by Ramon Antonio Vargas of The Times-Picayune. The burglary victim awoke to find a bald-headed man in his room and subsequently told police it might have been Mackey, but after prosecutors declined to take the case, Mackey’s attorneys argue that the arrest was wrongful and part of a scheme to discredit him, Vargas reports.

Jun 282013

Craig Giesecke

Our brief trip up to Illinois for a long weekend turned out to be every bit the culinary adventure we’d been seeking, not so much because the food was adventuresome but because it gave us a chance to hit some spots that simply don’t exist in this part of the world – at least not yet. Give it time. Continue reading »

Jun 272013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Can “Landslide” Landrieu be lucky and win again?

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu has won three elections for the Senate without ever surpassing 52 percent of the vote. Every one of her races has been tough and close but she faces an ultimate political test this year in a state that each year turns more Republican. Landrieu is one of the Deep South’s last two Democrats in the U.S. Senate. But many think that Southern Democratic elected officials closely resemble dinosaurs at the end of their era, except for State Senator Karen Carter Peterson who chairs Louisiana’s Democratic Party. Continue reading »

Jun 262013

Police tape notifies the public that the Second District station was closed Saturday while workers made emergency repairs to the floor in the lobby. The station has since reopened. (Robert Morris, UptownMesenger.com)

Private donations and emergency repairs continue extending the lengthy career of the New Orleans Police station at the corner of Magazine and Napoleon bit by bit, but the 110-year-old building may finally be in line to retire from service in the next few years.

Money is already being allocated to replace the crumbling structure, city officials said Wednesday, but before the project can move much further, a decision must first be made on where the new Second District station will be. Continue reading »

Jun 262013

The International School of Louisiana’a Camp Street campus.

Bureaucratic hoops have delayed the installation of modular classrooms at the International School of Louisiana’s Camp Street campus beyond the hope of having them in place for the start of the next school year, suggesting that some students will spend the first month or so of school traveling to the Westbank for classes, officials said Wednesday. Continue reading »

Jun 262013

(map via NOPD)

A 15-year-old boy has confessed to robbing a woman of her car at gunpoint at the corner of Fig and Cambronne streets last week, authorities said.

The boy’s name has not been released because of his age. For details of the arrest, see the NOPD news release below:

Second District officers arrested a 15-year-old gunman yesterday who admitted to pointing a gun at a woman’s head last week and then taking off in her car.

The incident happened last Wednesday just before 7pm in the 8400-block of Fig Street. The victim said she was about to get into her car when a teenager approached her, put a gun to her head and said, “Give me the keys. Don’t scream, or I’ll shoot you.” The gunman then left in the victim’s 2008 Saturn.

Two days later, the Saturn was spotted at Iberville and North Lopez Streets. Four males who were in the car fled the car at the sight of police. The car was then recovered.

Yesterday, detectives went to the corner of Fig and Cambronne Streets to follow up on a call of a suspicious person. The description of the person was similar to that of the teenager who had stolen the Saturn a week earlier. Detectives canvassed the neighborhood, describing the suspect to residents in hopes they may have seen him. Various residents told investigators they were familiar with the suspect, and were able to tell detectives where he might live. The information led detectives to the 15-year-old’s home, which was in the near vicinity. Detectives took the teen to the juvenile Bureau for questioning, and in a statement, he admitted to committing the armed robbery, and was subsequently booked with Relative to Firearm Use in a Robbery.

“Great work by our Second District team in this case. Our detectives were thorough, and left no stone unturned when trying to locate this teenager wielding a gun”, said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

“And this is another case where residents were forthcoming with our officers to tell them what they knew, because they recognize the NOPD’s ability to track down violent criminals and make our neighborhoods safer. As always, we’re incredibly grateful for the community’s help.”